DeKALB – District 428 school board members voted unanimously Tuesday to approve Bradley Hawk as the interim schools chief – then the NIU professor and former Burlington superintendent immediately took Doug Moeller’s former seat at the table and got down to business.
“I am excited about joining you as your interim superintendent,” Hawk told the board. “I can see that the school district is an outstanding school district, and I feel privileged to be able to serve you.”
Hawk will be going around to each school in the district Wednesday, accompanied by school board President Victoria Newport. She said the visits’ purpose is to introduce Hawk to teachers, administrators and students.
“Really, what we’re looking for is someone to get out in our buildings, talk to staff, talk to the kids and get a pulse of what’s going on out there,” Newport said. “And then come back to the board and let us know what’s going on.”
Hawk was one of two retired superintendents that the school board considered to step in for the embattled Moeller. None of the district’s current employees was qualified to fill the role, which by law requires a special certification.
Newport would not comment on Moeller’s situation. He remains on paid leave.
School board member Kerry Mellott said he was concerned that the district is, in effect, paying for two superintendents at this point. But, he said, the district needs the interim. He added that he could not comment on Moeller’s fate because he didn’t know much about that.
However, Mellott offered praise for Hawk.
“He looks like a good fit for the district, he’s very experienced. I think he’s going to be a real level-headed superintendent for us,” Mellott said.
Hawk, who stepped down in 2009 as superintendent of Burlington Central School Dist. 301, will be paid $925 per day for up to 100 days of work through June 30, 2017, according to terms of his DeKalb Dist. 428 contract. He is expected to work two to three days a week during that time period.
He can’t work more than that, due to rules of his pension, district officials explained.
Hawk, who lives in Crystal Lake – where his wife previously served as superintendent – said he would continue his work at NIU. As of Wednesday, he said, he reduced his time there to part-time. He said the classes he teaches there meet evenings and on Saturday.
“My goals will be to prepare the district for a full-time person, if one is needed,” Hawk said.
Hawk takes over, albeit temporarily, for Moeller, who was placed on paid leave last month amid allegations he stalked DeKalb High School Principal Michele Albano. She filed for an order of protection against Moeller on Sept. 19. Then on Sept. 21, the school board sent notice to parents that he had been placed on leave.
Albano and Moeller were scheduled to go before a judge Wednesday morning regarding the order of protection.